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Direct Copying of SxS Media

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Lawrence Young
Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 7:24:45 pm

I have been using P2 media for a long time now and have always just copied the Contents and .txt files for import in NLE's (AVID and FCP) into a new folder (MAC) without a hitch.

Now while I have shot with the EX1 and EX3, I have never had to offload the media.

I have a gig coming up that will require offloading, so my question is how many Cameramen out there have just copied the contents of a SxS card (Presumably to a new folder as with P2 Media) to a external hard drive with success? Is this a procedure you do all the time, or do you go the clip browser copy route? and if so WHY? Panasonic recommends this route with their equivalent of Sony's tools - but it has proved total a waste of time. It seems that Sony also recommends the Clip Browser route - why isn't this a waste of my time in the field? Especially if you can open the NLE app and check footage import?

So I guess my basic question is "Do you have to use BOTH the Clip browser and Transfer tool to Copy???? Or can you just copy the Card contents?" Seems to be a lot of confusing info out there.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 7:41:54 pm

ClipBrowser with CRC On to copy so you know your copy matches the source.

I recommend that you get enough cards that you DO NOT have to copy during a shoot. Human error is probably the most common source of damaged masters, accidental erase, lost clips.

If you can't afford enough SxS cards than you should make sure your camera has current firmware and consider getting SDHC adaptors and Sandisk Class 10 cards.

XDCAM Transfer is Mac only to wrap to .mov for FCP. I can't see a reason this is critical for field work during a shoot.



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Lawrence Young
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 7:51:46 pm

You recommended CRC on - I saw that in researching earlier posts about using the clip browser.

Perhaps I was not clear, WHY do I even need to use the clip browser as it seems an unnecessary step in this process? Can't I just copy the entire contents of the SxS card as I do with P2 Cards?

BTW, I always copy media at the end of a shoot day and NOT during.

Lawrence S. Young
Best Shot Productions
Maine•New York•Colombia
421 Paradise Road
PO Box 110
Bethel, ME 04217
Home: 207-824-3119
Cell: 508-494-3111
Email: lsyoung@megalink.net
Link to work: http://my.media-match.com/lawrence.young1


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Craig Seeman
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:00:57 pm

[Lawrence Young] "Perhaps I was not clear, WHY do I even need to use the clip browser as it seems an unnecessary step in this process?"

Why do you wear seat belts in a car? They are an "unnecessary" process. Why would keeping masters safe be "unnecessary?"

[Lawrence Young] "BTW, I always copy media at the end of a shoot day and NOT during."

That decreases human error immensely. Good workflow. You still need to make sure your copy is "data perfect" and it's why ClipBrowser has CRC as well as ShotPut.



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Lawrence Young
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:13:17 pm

I think I still may not be clear - I check media in a NLE (AVID) that is loaded on my laptop - so that I know the media is secure.

Having used NLE's sine 1998, I certainly understand the need NOT to have corrupted media.

I am asking a different question entirely - WHY use the clip browser at all - seems to be making a Cameraman jump through hoops, when indeed the Data written the the SxS cards is just that - data.

Seems to me that it would be similar to copying (backing up if you will) your media from one drive to another. This why I brought up the example about how I handle P2 media - Panasonic says different but at least 80% of editors and Cameramen out there just copy the data off the flash cards to hard drives.

As SxS cards are Flash memory I am wondering about the same work flow. That is why I am asking to see how other cameramen handle this in the field.

Lawrence S. Young
Best Shot Productions
Maine•New York•Colombia
421 Paradise Road
PO Box 110
Bethel, ME 04217
Home: 207-824-3119
Cell: 508-494-3111
Email: lsyoung@megalink.net
Link to work: http://my.media-match.com/lawrence.young1


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Craig Seeman
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:00:55 pm

[Lawrence Young] "I think I still may not be clear - I check media in a NLE (AVID) that is loaded on my laptop - so that I know the media is secure."

Every clip end to end? Clips can be corrupt at any point. That's why data checks like CRC are good additional security.

[Lawrence Young] "I am asking a different question entirely - WHY use the clip browser at all - seems to be making a Cameraman jump through hoops, when indeed the Data written the the SxS cards is just that - data. "

I'm being redundant just like CRC. A seat belt is not a hoop. It's a life saver. What part of that is hard to understand. CRC assures a data parity match. You can not do that efficiently by eye for shots that would take real time to play otherwise to eye check.

A cameraman jumping through hoops is having to do a reshoot without pay because of a bad clip.

This is a SIMPLE concept. Be safe or risk an accident.

Data occasionally gets corrupted on copy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_redundancy_check
CRCs are specifically designed to protect against common types of errors on communication channels, where they can provide quick and reasonable assurance of the integrity of messages delivered.



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Lawrence Young
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:08:42 pm

Better when I have a DIT on set/location. Mostly I shoot (when shooting to flash cards) with PDW-700 or F800, HPX2700 and 3700 (Varicam's) and F900's so that is why I am asking all these questions.

Also, I am a Firm believer in Seat belts - have been ever since hill climbing in a Jeep back in 1978 when I rolled and my four point belt saved me.

Lawrence S. Young
Best Shot Productions
New England•New York•Colombia
Email: lsyoung@megalink.net
Link to Work: http://www.vimeo.com/lawrencesyoung


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Brent Dunn
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 29, 2010 at 5:55:39 pm

The Media browser also connects your media should you shoot long clips over 2 cards in the camera.

Otherwise, you can just copy the entire BPAV folder into a labeled folder on you computer, then make a backup onto another drive or 2 or 3.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Ian Cook
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:24:25 pm

Hi Lawrence,

It is reasonably safe to simply copy the BPAVs from the cards to folders on an external drive but we strongly recommend using Clip Browser to CRC check the files. It will add a bit of time to the offload but it's the safest way to go.

Clip Browser is for copying and managing the cards. XDCAM Transfer is the import plug-in. There is a bit of overlap in terms of their logging functions but they should be thought of as separate tools.

Best,

Ian

Ian Cook
Sony Broadcast and Professional Company


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Lawrence Young
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:37:37 pm

Thanks Ian

The extra time at the end of a long day is what I am trying to avoid.

As Media Composer doesn't re-wrap the files (I.E, it is MXF Native), I can very quickly open the clips and spot check them - I make multiple copies of the data of course.

Not having recorded card in front of me - I see you Mention the BPAV's - is that the folder/Structure that when opening a card I will see? Much like the Panasonic Contents and .txt file? Is there more than one file I need to be aware of on the SxS card when copying to a Folder on a hard drive? Or is the a white paper that gives me a breakdown on the file structure of an SxS Card - if their isn't a simple explanation.

Lawrence S. Young
Best Shot Productions
Maine•New York•Colombia
421 Paradise Road
PO Box 110
Bethel, ME 04217
Home: 207-824-3119
Cell: 508-494-3111
Email: lsyoung@megalink.net
Link to work: http://my.media-match.com/lawrence.young1


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Ian Cook
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:48:50 pm

Yes, copy the BPAV (root folder) to another folder and give the parent folder a unique name. Do not modify anything below BPAV. If you follow this rule and your copies go as planned you should have no issues.

Also know that the Avid AMA module (or any other NLE, for that matter) can sometimes have issues with media files for reasons that might have nothing to do with the integrity of the files themselves. This is another reason to use a dedicated app like CB or ShotPut to QC your files.

One last thing...XDCAM optical is .mxf with MPEG-2 video. XDCAM EX uses an .mp4 wrapper. Workflow via AMA is the same but the .mp4s cannot be File-->Imported the way .mxfs can.

Cheers and good luck,

Ian


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Lawrence Young
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:52:23 pm

Thanks for the clarification on the MXF vs .mp4 files - Guess I am just used to shooting 700 and F800's - it's a pleasure to just hand off the disks at the end of a day!

Lawrence S. Young
Best Shot Productions
New England•New York•Colombia
Email: lsyoung@megalink.net
Link to Work: http://www.vimeo.com/lawrencesyoung


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Craig Seeman
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:16:17 pm

As noted in another post PMW-500 will allow MXF recording to SxS. My hope is that Sony incorporates that in future EX cameras. With XDCAM disc you can preserve the disc as a master so if a copy is bad you can go back to that.

With memory cards, the clips are deleted/cards formatted for reuse. A bad copy is therefore potentially fatal. That's way data integrity is paramount on the initial copy. What you put on your hard drive is essentially your master (which you should then backup).

As SDHC prices fall some may consider shooting on and holding those as masters although good cards are still a higher cost per GB than an XDCAM disc. A good 32GB Sandisk Class 10 card can cost $200 whereas an 50GB XDCAM disc costs considerably less.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:04:39 pm

[Lawrence Young] "As Media Composer doesn't re-wrap the files (I.E, it is MXF Native),"

EX cameras recording to SxS are using BPAV (with .mp4), not MXF. ClipBrowser also can wrap to MXF.

Only the new PMW-500 allows MXF recording on SxS (formatted to UDF rather than FAT32) at this point.



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Lawrence Young
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:13:59 pm

Ian Corrected me - I was wrong - please see the above thread

Lawrence S. Young
Best Shot Productions
New England•New York•Colombia
Email: lsyoung@megalink.net
Link to Work: http://www.vimeo.com/lawrencesyoung


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Ron Pestes
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 29, 2010 at 12:43:05 am

Hmmm, now I have a question about all this. I have just used XDCAM Transfer for all downloading, sending the files to two seperate drives. If one drive got an error it would seem so remote as to be rediculous that you could get two drive errors in a row as long as you download the cards directly and don't just copy the first drive over to the second. If there was an error on both drives of the same file wouldn't that mean the card had the problem and CRC would not have been able to save you? This method does save a huge amount of time and has never failed me. Also, what does CRC do if it finds an error? Thanks guys!

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Rafael Amador
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 29, 2010 at 1:15:08 am

[Lawrence Young] "Is there more than one file I need to be aware of on the SxS card when copying to a Folder on a hard drive? Or is the a white paper that gives me a breakdown on the file structure of an SxS Card - if their isn't a simple explanation."
You need the full folder structure.
SONY have made that any change will be a headache.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Moser
Re: Direct Copying of SxS Media
on Sep 30, 2010 at 11:30:12 pm

At the end of every shoot, I use ShotPut Pro to copy files to my back up hard drive and to the client's media (usually a USB drive). After the transfer is complete-ShotPut Pro compares the files to make sure the copies are correct as it transfers-I pull the SxS card from my MacBook Pro and spot check both copies using EX Clip Browser. Before ShotPut and Clip Browser, I would open the files and "prove" that they worked in Final Cut. That was a pain. It just takes a few minutes to do a spot check as one would do with tape. That workflow has worked fine thus far. I have a 32Gig and 3 16 gig cards. I also have the SxS adapter with SDHC, but haven't used them on pro shoots...I bring them along as back up in case I really go overboard shooting. So far I haven't needed them.
It's been said here that sometimes invisible files may be copied if you just use drag and drop to get the BPAV folder on the drives, so this is a good seatbelt workflow so far.



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